East Liverpool residents worry about toxic soil from East Palestine train derailment being burned in community

Heritage Thermal Services is one of four sites the U.S. EPA chose to dispose the toxic waste
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 9:53 PM EDT
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EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WOIO) Tuesday afternoon, a plume of white puffs out of the smokestack at Heritage Thermal Services in East Liverpool.

Those who see it, live in the East End neighborhood near the waste facility wonder what exactly is being incinerated but some people have made it their business to know, like Dean Leisure. 19 News cameras were rolling as he pulled out a list.

“We don’t want it burned here because they’ve proven they can’t be trusted, we don’t even know what is in that dirt,” said Amanda Kiger, Executive Director of River Valley Organizing and East End resident. The non-profit works for a safer, cleaner, and more community-oriented environment.

Back in March, the U.S. EPA approved Heritage Thermal Services in East Liverpool as one of four locations to properly burn waste from the train derailment in East Palestine back on February 3.

Since that time tons of soil has been hauled from the site which is about 20 miles north of the site.

19 News found documents from 2018 that show Heritage was cited by the EPA for violations of the Clean Air Act and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants over the years.

It’s just one of the reasons why many East Liverpool residents are on high alert and on edge. They tell 19 News they don’t want East Palestine’s toxic soil here in their community after all they’ve endured.

East Liverpool residents worry about toxic soil from East Palestine being burned in their...
East Liverpool residents worry about toxic soil from East Palestine being burned in their community at Heritage Thermal Services.

“Are you considering moving?” asked 19 News reporter, Sia Nyorkor

“Yes. Yes, as soon as I can find somewhere that I can afford that’s close to work because I work out in Lisbon so anything that I can find that’s out of the 30-mile radius at least.”

“These substances, this should go to the newest, the most state of the art facility and this aging 30 years old facility is not it,” said Kiger.

19 News reached out to Heritage Thermal Services for a response to the residents’ concerns but did not hear back at the time of the broadcast.

This story is developing and will be updated.